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Public Liability Claims

Public liability is a term to describe who is liable for people’s safety in a public place such as parks, government buildings and so on. These places should be covered by public liability insurance. Usually, a public liability case involves the local council as they maintain such premises. If you are unsure if your accident or injury falls in the public liability category it is best to give us a call.

What is a Public Liability claim?

Public liability is an extension of personal injuries and a broader term to injuries such as slips, trips and falls, differing from Occupiers liability due to the location and the manner it happens. Public liability happens on public property such as your every day street, council owned parks, council run gyms and on roads. If you were driving then please look at our road traffic accident page.

Types of Public Liability claims

If you are unsure you have a public liability claim have a look at some of the examples below

  • Accident in a School
  • Injuries caused by animals / livestock
  • Slips or fall on a public pavement
  • Injuries caused by potholes
  • Accident in a public park
  • Accident on council owned property
  • Accidents or injuries on public transport
  • Accident on untreated surfaces (ice, snow etc)
  • Injury on dangerous public foot paths
  • Falling objects in public places

Please be aware that this list is just a general idea, if you are still unsure please give us a call.

Do I have a public liability claim?

If you’ve needed medical treatment from suffering an injury in a public place then yes. Provided there were no deliberate or careless behavior then we can help. Generally, public places are covered by public liability insurance and your claim will be against them, however this is not always the case. If you have had an accident make sure to not dwell on it too long, it is always best to get in touch with us as soon as possible so that we can resolve the case quickly and get the compensation you deserve for you.

How much can I claim?

How much you can claim exactly differs on a case by case basis. You can find more information about how much your injury claim may be worth here.

Scott Rees & Co – public liability specialists

Here at Scott Rees we have over 20 years of experience helping clients get justice for their accidents or injuries. If you have a public liability claim and you want to make sure you use the best then your search is over. Resolving cases. It’s what we do.

Public Liability Case Studies

2012 – Client hurt by goalpost not removed by the council  – £33,500

Our client was playing a football game on a pitch hired from a local council. As he went to make a sliding tackle his knee hit an object stuck in the ground. The impact made a sickening cracking sound rendered him in excruciating pain. When trying to stand up he and his fellow players saw that his knee had completely split open.

The client was stretched to the side and told to not move his leg as the other players inspected the area the tackle was made. The object our client struck was in fact the stump of a goal post that had not been removed by the local council which was hidden by grass.

He was taken to hospital to a trauma unit as his injuries were very severe. Bone was visible and his kneecap had physically moved to the side of his leg as a result of the impact. He was kept in hospital for 10 days, being prescribed antibiotics for 5 of those days. Following release from hospital he regularly suffered pains during sleep 2 to 3 times per night despite having extensive physiotherapy.

Unfortunately the client also had to leave their job due to the recovery taking such a long time. Scott Rees assisted with this be securing better medical care in an attempt to speed up recovery and organise an interim payment which would offset the pressure of being injured and not being able to earn a wage during the recovery process.

Doctors have stated that on recovery, only 75% of the movement within the knee would return after completing his 19 week initial recovery period which included a 9 week cast, 4 weeks without having weight on the leg and a 6 week period aided by a knee brace. Our client was a very active person who enjoyed playing sport regularly as well as going to the gym and cycling on his commute to work each day. As a result of his injuries he has been told he is unable to complete any of those physical activities again, changing his entire life completely. Scott Rees were able to help acquire special arrangements for the client to stay with his family while recovering due to his limited mobility.

The local council in question admitted liability to the incident, agreeing that the goalposts the client struck should have been moved long before the accident happened. We advised our client on the best course of action and were able to negotiate a settlement for £30,000 before court proceedings were required to go ahead.

2012 – Client caught foot in pothole and fell – £5,900

The claimant was walking from their parent’s house towards their car which was parked nearby. After stepping from the kerb their foot became lodged in the pothole, sending her off balance and landing on her knees. Upon impact the client instantly felt extreme pain in her right foot.

The client was taken to hospital for an x ray which revealed a fractured fibular bone in her ankle. She was then placed in a plaster cast covering her foot up to the kneecap and prescribed Co-Codamol as a pain relief while the initial swelling was around.

A week after her accident she began to feel sharp shooting pains in her calf which. With Scott Rees’ assistance we were able to fast track the client back for another check-up, during which it was discovered to be that deep vain thrombosis had set in due to the accident. The client now has to inject herself regularly with Clexane to prevent blood clots. Following an initial recovery period she was then required to wear a reinforced boot for support for several weeks. Following the initial recovery period above the client then had to be signed off from work on sick leave for a further month.

The long last effect on the client’s life has included requiring moving in with her parents as movement is severely affected, needing to use her parents stair lift to climb stairs. She was unable for several months to complete regular parenting tasks without assistance such as taking her child to school or going on days out. She was unable to do any physical exercise activities or drive for an extended period following injury.

Scott Rees was able to assist with the process of adapting life following injury by arranging the move into the claimant’s parent’s house. We were able to organise an interim payment during the initial recovery period as part of the overall £5900 settlement agreed by the local council.

2010 – Client slipped and fell on ice on public footpath – £5,000

The client was walking from her home and along the road by her house. Shortly into her walk she slipped on the footpath due to hidden ice as a result of snow and rain overnight making the ice difficult to see. She fell onto her back causing a spinal fracture of her C-10 vertebrae in her upper spine. She instantly felt sharp shooting pains through her spine and had major difficulty in even standing up, requiring assistance from her husband who took her to a local hospital for assessment.

While in hospital she was prescribed Co-Codamol and signed off work. She was forced to sleep on the sofa in her home for almost a month due to being unable to remain comfortable in bed and finding difficulty climbing stairs. She was in considerable pain for a prolonged time following injury and required alterations to her lifestyle such as needing to be driven and limiting the amount of walking until the spine healed.

A local housing association was responsible for the gritting of footpaths for where she lived. Grit had been delivered to the housing association but no action had been taken. In an act of negligence they still failed to resolve the problem following the fall even though our client and a neighbour informed them of the potential dangers. Scott Rees stepped in to take action and quickly managed to oversee the admittance of responsibility from the housing association. Following our action they began addressing the issues raised by our client and her neighbour.

We were able to secure a payment of £5,000 before court proceedings began to help our client through the weeks away from work and regular checkups for the months following the injury while she recovered.

2007 – Client’s daughter’s finger crushed during P.E lesson – £6,000

Our client’s daughter was taking part in a PE lesson in school. On the day of the incident many of the teachers including the usual PE teacher were away with other students on a day trip. The school used 2 other available teachers, 1 qualified in PE and 1 not. The two teachers created a team based game to play involving bean bags, plastic hoops, a mat and a bench per team.

Towards the end of the game the client’s daughter’s team were pushing their bench against the wall. The client’s daughter was helping to do so but had her index finger of her writing hand between the bench and wall. The result of the injury was the daughter screaming in pain as her finger was bloodied very quickly. The acting PE teacher did not assist her more than telling her to go to the toilets and wash it under a cold tap.

Our client was asked to come collect her daughter from school. Upon seeing her daughters finger our client could see the blood was not stopping and could also see bone. She asked the teacher for the first aid kit to stem the bleeding but was informed the first aid kit was half full and didn’t have the proper medical items in it. Our client drove her daughter to the hospital to get the wound treated as soon as possible.

The hospital dressed the wound and injected it with painkillers to numb the tremendous pain her daughter was experiencing. They were transferred to a local children’s hospital that same day and scheduled to have reconstructive surgery on the child’s finger the next day due to the nail needing to be rebuilt. Even after surgery the child’s finger is now deformed as a result and heavily scarred where the initial opening was made. She also suffers from numbing pains intermittently.

Scott Rees were appalled to hear about the way the child was treated following the injury, not being supervised and told to treat the injury herself; we were also shocked that the school did not have the medical stock required to treat the injury. We instantly took the case on as we felt this was a very serious issue. We were able to offer expert advice to our client on how to manage the compensation while it matures and becomes available to her child upon turning 18. The school where the PE lesson accident took place admitted responsibility and negligence of handling the issue and not having a fully stocked first aid kit. We were able to settle the claim out of court and secured £6,000 for our client’s daughter.

2010 – Client fell on ungritted hospital ground and broke wrist – £4,000

The client was on his way to visit his girlfriend who had just had their baby. He was dropped off at the hospital grounds near the entrance, however only a few steps towards the entrance he slipped and fell on a patch of ice that had not been gritted. As he fell he instinctively tried to break his fall but suffered a fractured wrist, hitting this against the floor first. After the initial fall he had sharp pains up his arm. He was taken to A&E for X-ray which confirmed the fractured wrist. While being X-rayed one of the doctors also admitted they had slipped in the same spot earlier that day.

As a result of the fall the client was unable to assist during his paternity leave with his new baby. He also required help from his girlfriend to perform household jobs while she already had the new baby to worry about. He required the wrist setting in plaster for 6 weeks and could not perform his job until the bone had set.

This case attracted us straight away given the sensitive nature of a new father being unable to assist his girlfriend or really enjoy his first experiences at home with the baby as much as he should be able to due to a problem which had already been identified by a member of staff earlier that day. We were able to award our client £4,000 to offset his extra time off work following paternity leave after the hospital admitted liability and agreed to settle the issue before court proceedings began.

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